Culinary Arts

Great cooking is an art that takes both talent and skill to master. If the kitchen is your happy place and cooking or baking is your passion, you can make it your career through the OCC Career Advantage Culinary Arts/Baking and Pastry programs. Our award-winning competition teams and long list of alumni working in top restaurants and hotel kitchens across the region demonstrate the quality of our basic and advanced programs. Our Advanced Culinary Arts program will prepare you to take the industry exam to become a Certified Culinarian, a designation recognized as a mark of excellence in the restaurant industry. OCC graduates are in demand and recruited directly into the numerous hot restaurants and top hotels and resorts in the LA/OC region. Chefs and head cooks in California earn a media annual income of about $42,054, while baker and pastry chefs earn a median of $27,934. If you want a career at the top of this exciting, fast-paced restaurant industry, then read on to learn more.

A sampling of courses for these careers

Sanitation and Safety
Introduction to Hospitality Industry
Principles of Baking

Menu Planning and Purchasing
Bar Management
Garde Manger

Did you know?

The restaurant workforce makes up 10 percent of the total U.S. workforce, and 1.1 to 1.6 million new restaurant jobs are expected by 2027, according to the Association for Career Technical Education.

Program Details

Complete our certificate program, and you’ll be well-prepared to enter a career in culinary arts.

Build upon your skills if you’re already employed in the field. Or earn an associate degree for even greater advancement opportunities.

See Evening, Weekend and Online Courses

In less than 2 years
you can earn:
Certificate of Achievement

Prepare for an entry-level position in a commercial kitchen. Learn the basic methods and techniques of cooking through hands-on instruction in a commercial kitchen environment, as well as how to use culinary tools and equipment safely and properly, sanitary work habits and elements of professionalism. View program detail in course catalog.

Prepare for a position as a professional culinarian, and gain the knowledge and skills needed to pass the industry exam to become a Certified Culinarian, a credential awarded by the American Culinary Federation. Gain solid foundational knowledge of the restaurant and hospitality industry in this program accredited by the American Culinary Federation Accrediting Commission. View program detail in course catalog.

Gain a solid foundational knowledge of the baking and pastry industry as you prepare to become a pastry entrepreneur. This program also prepares you for a position as head baker, assistant pastry chef, pastry chef and executive pastry chef at restaurants, hotels, resorts, clubs and bakeries. View program detail in course catalog.

Build on your certificate
of achievement with a:
Certificate of Specialization

Prepare for an entry-level position as a baker, pastry cook, or pastry entrepreneur in a retail, wholesale or entrepreneurial setting. Gain a fundamental knowledge of baking science, and learn about classic and contemporary patisserie and baking processes. View program detail in course catalog.

Or earn your
associate degree
in under 4 years

Complete the Advanced Culinary Arts Certificate of Achievement and the Associate in Science graduation requirements to earn an associate degree. Prepare for a position as a professional culinarian and gain the knowledge and skills needed to pass the industry exam to become a Certified Culinarian, a credential awarded by the American Culinary Federation. View program detail in course catalog.

Complete the Advanced Baking and Pastry Certificate of Achievement and the Associate in Science graduation requirements to earn an associate degree. You will be prepared to become a pastry entrepreneur or for a position as head baker, assistant pastry chef, pastry chef and executive pastry chef at restaurants, hotels, resorts, clubs and bakeries. View program detail in course catalog.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

To enroll in a Career Advantage program, you must first apply for admission to Orange Coast College. To apply, go to the Admissions Application Information webpage and review the information and requirements for admission. A link at the bottom of that page will take you to the CCCApply website, where you will be prompted to create an account so you can begin the application process.

Classes cost $46 per unit for residents of California. Classes vary in their unit value, but an average 3-unit class costs $138. There are additional fees required to register and additional costs associated with each program. Click here to view the estimated total costs of the program in this career cluster.

View this chart for the length of the core program.

This program offers courses on evenings and weekends. For details about offerings in this program, speak to a counselor or consult the class schedule. The class schedule tool searches through all Orange Coast College course offerings and includes a filter for online classes.

You can make an appointment in person, online or by phone.  Click here for more information about Counseling Services and how to make an appointment.

For general questions about enrollment, availability of classes and other services for prospective and current OCC students, call The Answer Center at 714-432-5772. For answers to specific questions you can speak to a counselor or to the faculty member listed on this program page.

Other Programs That Might Interest You

Culinology assistant tests a red sauce with an instrument

Train to become a food science assistant in food research and advance in the field with an associate degree

Waiter carries tray through busy dining room

Explore our three certificate programs that prepare you for careers in catering or restaurant supervision

Nutritionist stands in front of a table with fruit, vegetables, water and a scale

Choose from three programs to get your start in the field of nutrition

Did you know?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people who have a certificate as
their highest level of education earned, on average, 20 percent more than
those whose highest education level is a high school diploma.

Our Team

Jordan Clark

Jordan Clark, M.S.

Career Technical Education & Career Services Outreach Specialist

Katie Ottoson

Katie Ottoson, M.S.

Counselor, CTE and
Career Services

Andrea Lane

Counselor, Hospitality
Programs

Find Out
More

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